Topical Erythropoietin could Assist in the Healing of Diabetic Foot Ulcer

ABSTRACT: The diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a major disabling complication of diabetes mellitus. Growing evidence suggests topical erythropoietin (EPO) can promote wound healing. The aim of this study is to clinically assess the efficacy of a proprietary topical EPO-containing hydrogel for treating DFUs. We conducted a randomized, controlled trial in 20 patients with DFUs. After a 14-day screening period, the DFUs of 20 eligible participants who fulfilled the inclusion criteria were randomly assigned (1:1) to either a 12-week of daily treatment with topical EPO and standard-of-care (SOC) or SOC treatment alone. The DFUs were assessed weekly until week 12. The primary outcome was 75% ulcer closure or higher. After 12 weeks of treatment, 75% ulcer closure was achieved in six of the ten patients whose DFUs were treated with topical EPO and in one of the eight patients whose DFUs were treated with SOC alone. The mean area of the DFUs which were treated with topical EPO and SOC was significantly smaller than those treated with SOC alone (1.2±1.4cm2 versus 4.2±3.4cm2; p=0.023). Reepithelialization was faster in the topically EPO-treated DFUs than in the SOC-treated DFUs. There were no treatment-related adverse events. We conclude that topical EPO is a promising treatment for promoting the healing of DFUs.

Hamed S, et al. Topical Erythropoietin Accelerates Wound Closure in Patients with Diabetic Foot Ulcers: A Prospective, Multicenter, Single-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Trial. Rejuvenation Res. 2021 Jan 27. doi: 10.1089/rej.2020.2397. Online ahead of print.